Just like shopping has been disrupted by technology and e-commerce with companies like Amazon and eBay, a disruption in finance was long overdue.
I spoke to Chris Findlow to find out the role Market Invoice has played in this financial technology boom.
Why the buzz around FinTech right now?
Despite the technology boom, finance had no massive changes until around 2009, when companies like Funding Circle and PayPal began to disrupt the way finance had traditionally been utilised. If you think of traditional lending, the only option would have been to visit a bank. As technology advanced along with the rise of the internet, all other industries were disrupted, for example, Uber and Deliveroo. Finance was slightly late to the mark.
It’s having a moment right now because it’s new technology that has revolutionised the way finance is used.
Can you tell me about Market Invoice
Our company is based in Shoreditch in London, with around 130 employees. We do invoice finance, which allows businesses to borrow against their outstanding invoices. In simple terms, if you were a company selling pens to Tesco, Tesco may want to pay you on sixty-day payment terms, but you need that money straight away because you need to pay your suppliers for those pens. This is where Market Invoice comes in; we bridge the gap of the invoice getting paid, and lend the money to the client for them to use it to grow and take on new clients and new staff. It’s a tool to support business growth and progression.
Do you lend money out to clients?
We’re actually a platform business, so we don’t lend the money ourselves – we’re like a marketplace for businesses who need funding from investors who want to lend them money. Our funds are sourced from a network of investors like banks and pension schemes and our clients are businesses that want to borrow money from these investors.
What is your role?
My role is to run new business function for the North of the UK and to manage our partnership channel nationally. The ‘North’ covers everything in the UK, from Birmingham upwards. Our new business team focuses on setting up facilities for our clients so they can borrow money against their invoices.
What’s going on at Market Invoice at the moment?
Lots of growth, lots of change. At the end of last year we raised £56 million in funding. We’ve also struck a partnership with Barclays. This means we are their favoured invoice finance company, so any invoice finance deal Barclays get will come straight to the team at Market Invoice. With that comes a lot of growth, so we’ve added an extra thirty or so staff across the sales team. In Manchester we’ve taken on six, and will probably take on another two by the end of the year. We’ll also be seeing more growth in all areas of the business. Lots of good change! We also have a brilliant new head of sales called Mark Thompson who started in January. All positive!
What does it take to be a part of the team at Market Invoice?
Market Invoice has three slightly cheesy values, #oneteamonedream, #makeithappen and #alwaysbelearning. So when I go and present our product to businesses, I’ll start with how good our business is, how good our product is, but I’ll always finish on how good the people are. Culture is extremely important in our business, and we have a very tight-knit team. If you want to work at Market Invoice, you’ve got to be a perfect culture fit.
You’ve got to adaptable; we’re a fast-moving FinTech and there’s constant change. I say this to everyone I interview, the only thing that’s constant here is change. We want people to come in with an open mind and understand our vision to give entrepreneurs their time back. Everyone that works here has loads of ideas, and we work collaboratively to further this vision.
Best thing about Headspace?
Definitely the Headspace Team. Always friendly and helpful!
Which piece of advice changed your life?
That’s a tough question, I’ve had a lot of advice in my time because I’ve done a lot of things wrong! Probably from my fiancée’s father who told me to always take myself out of my comfort zone, because stretching yourself is the only way to move forward.
Thanks Chris for the lesson in invoice finance. If you’d like to find out more about Market Invoice, check out the website.
Posted by Cathy Rodgers